According to the official media, China’s cereal output dropped for the fifth consecutive year to 431 million tons last year. bq. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last month announced the decision to rescind agricultural tax in five years, which means farmers’ burden would be reduced by as much as 11.8 billion yuan in each of the five years. bq. From 1997 to 2003, the per capita income of farmers rose 4 percent annually on average, in sharp contrast to an 8 percent jump in the disposable income of urban dwellers. Farmers have complained that growing grain crops is less lucrative than growing fruit or raising fish or poultry, which experts fear as a potential threat to the country’s food security. (“xinhuanet”:http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-04/21/content_1430935.htm)
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